The skill of true minimalism is actually quite rare to come by. As humans we naturally collect and spend colossal amounts of money on home decor, plants, art, clothing and things of all types to provide visual presentation to our lifestyle. What if one day you ditched 90% everything you owned and swapped your home decor for real life desert landscape, roads untraveled and sights unseen? For Kim Finley the trade was surprisingly simple.
This adventure seeking, story telling traveler has been living life on the road with her husband and VW van for the past three years. Kim believes traveling is the only expense that makes you richer and value the experiences and memories of an adventure more than any possessions. We couldn't agree more. Keep reading for more on Kim's outlook on exploring, travel advice and more.
Photography by: The Nomadic People
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a dreamer, a travel addict and I don’t take No for an answer. I grew up in Germany and have always wanted to explore this big world of ours. After finishing high school, I decided to take a break and become an AuPair in San Francisco. There I met my husband to be and that was just the beginning of the adventure.
Where are you originally from? Did you travel growing up?
I am originally from Germany. My mum is German and my Dad is Spanish, which explains my darker complexion. As long as I can remember I have been a little adventurer; although I am sure that my parents planted the seed. Every summer we would go camping at a different place. I can’t tell you how much I loved waking up in a tent next to my sister, and crawling over my mum and dad to zip down the tent and run to the beach of Italy, France or Croatia.
Share with us how The Nomadic People came about?
The Nomadic People was something that evolved naturally. We didn’t plan on traveling the world, moving into a VW Bus or branding ourselves with this specific name. Since I am from Germany and Nash from the States, we ended up having a 4-year long-distance relationship after my stint as an Au Pair. But instead of just visiting each other in our home countries we decided to meet up in foreign lands and explore them together.
Different cultures, places and languages have always inspired us. Every time we get back from a trip we are full of ideas and filled with new perspectives on life, about who we are and who we want to become. We started to document our experiences and write down all of our memories. At first this was just for us. But then after recounting our stories over and over again to friends and family, we decided to make a travel blog. This kept our loved ones up to date, and now allow us to share it with fellow travelers and the community at large.
The stories we tell and pictures we take are not only to provide more information about an incredible hike, a unique spot or a country itself but to inspire our community to go out and experience it for themselves. After we returned from our trip through Southeast Asia, we fulfilled one of our biggest dreams — moving into a VW bus and living a truly minimalistic yet adventurous life. This is when The Nomadic People really began.
Favorite place you've traveled to?
Choosing our favorite place in the world is always hard simply because every spot is so different and beautiful in its own way. However, if we had to choose, our all-time favorite thus far was our most recent trip to Tanzania and Kenya. I can’t even put into words the feeling I had while watching elephants bathe in the rivers, cheetahs bask in the morning sun and 1000s of wildebeest and zebras start their migration back up to the north. It was absolutely mind blowing and gave my heart so much pleasure. Pictures can’t even begin to capture the joy in a baby elephant’s walk or the sound of a baby rhino communicating with its mom. Safari is truly something everyone must experience once in their lifetime.
With traveling all over the world, you must have a bucket-list! ;) What are your top 3 bucket-list destinations or things to do while in a certain location...
India — India has been on my list from day one, but I have been pretty much everywhere else but there. There is something about the culture, the explosion of colors and the delicious food that draws me. From the crazy streets of Delhi, to the house boats of Kerala, I want to experience it all.
Japan — I try not to go to the same place twice, but Japan is an exception. In 2014 I worked on a tea farm in a tiny town in the Kyoto Prefecture, and though I was able to travel around the country a little bit, I only got a taste. I am craving for the whole meal.
South America — Like India, South America has also been on my list from the beginning, and again I still haven’t been there. I don’t even know where to start. I think we just want to see it all — Bolivia, Peru & Chile are probably our top three thus far. The nature there is so raw and untouched, plus there is a lodge down there I have been longing to stay in called EcoCamp Patagonia.
On the road isn't always luxurious, what is a quote you look to when times get tough?
My memory is quite bad when it comes to remembering quotes, so it is more of an idea that I look to for the inspiration to continue on our path —
Traveling is the only expense that makes us richer. Surrounding ourselves with the beauty of experiencing different cultures, places and languages feeds our curiosity and broadens our minds. Money comes and goes but experiences, both good and bad, help us to grow and blossom into who we will become.
Any advice for fellow explorers wanting to take on life on the road?
The only advice I can give is to just do it. We as humans tend to overthink things; about what could happen or what we should be doing, but the only thing that matters is what you want in your heart. I know this may be cliché but if this is the life you truly want take the leap and don’t look back.
Photography by: The Nomadic People